On this day we remember Gene Kelly, born on August 23rd 1912, an American dancer, actor, singer, film director, producer and choreographer. He was known for his energetic and athletic dancing style, his good looks, and the likeable characters that he played on screen.
Kelly was born in the East Liberty neighborhood of Pittsburgh. He was the third son of James Patrick Joseph Kelly, a phonograph salesman, and his wife Harriet Catherine Curran.
His father was born in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada, to an Irish Canadian family. His maternal grandfather was an immigrant from Derry, Northern Ireland, and his maternal grandmother was of German ancestry.
Kelly eventually decided to pursue a career as a dance teacher and full-time entertainer, so he dropped out of law school after two months.
In 1937, having successfully managed and developed the family’s dance school business, he finally did move to New York City in search of work as a choreographer, where his career began starring in many major motion pictures from 1942, until his death in 1996.
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer was the largest and most powerful studio in Hollywood when Gene Kelly arrived in town in 1941. He came direct from the hit 1940 original Broadway production of “Pal Joey” and planned to return to the Broadway stage after making the one film required by his contract.
Another Kelly musical of the era, Singin’ in the Rain (1952), was one of the first 25 films selected by the Library of Congress for its National Film Registry. Kelly was in the same league as Fred Astaire, but instead of a top hat and tails Kelly wore work clothes that went with his masculine, athletic dance style.
Today’s YouTube presentation is Gene Kelly in the movie called Singin in the Rain, brought to you by user name ibarnard86;
Gene Kelly died at age 83 of complications from two strokes on February 2, 1996 in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, California.
Did you know Kelly’s father was Al Jolson’s road manager in the 1920s?
Gene Kelly was also a dance consultant for Madonna’s 1993 “Girlie Show” tour.
Martial arts stars Jackie Chan and the late David Carradine both cite him as an influence.
What an influence he was to us all, as we remember Gene Kelly’s birthday as we celebrate today’s day to remember.
Written & Designed by JD Mitchell